Coaches Corner: Soccer Coach Ryan Tierney
The ReSporter: Hey Coach could you give us what is next for this year’s soccer team?
Coach Tierney: “As far as the bracket we are still working out the details. Canyon Lake will get a first round bye and it looks like we will play the winner of the Bi-District game between the Third Place 25-4A district vs. the Second place in 26-4A District. From what I have seen and heard from other coaches, we will play the winners of Liberty Hill vs. Taylor.”
The ReSporter: How would you describe your overall picture of this year’s team?
Coach Tierney: “The over all picture of this team is Progress. We have consistently progressed in all aspects of our game. The passing, the defending, the understanding of team play and the implementation of physicality. We are in one of the toughest districts and regions in the state. We do not get a break from game to game and the playoffs are going to be the same. But because of our tough district, we have become a hardened team that is conditioned to play at a high level.”
The ReSporter: How will your roster look injury wise? Will you have a complete team?
Coach Tierney: “Luckily for us we are slowly getting girls back from injury. Injuries are always apart of this game and it seems like everyone has some sort of bump or bruise. We had a full team going into Fredericksburg and we played one of our best games all season. Unfortunately after that game we lost 2 seniors who play a vital role in the mid field. I have high hopes for both to return. The bye week is going to help those girls with injury to heal up as much as possible and because they are tough I have no doubt they will be there for the playoffs giving their team everything they have. Like I told the girls vs. Wimberley, ‘Again we have a slim bench, but this is nothing new for us. We have played all season with injuries and we have to have girls step up and compete.'”
The ReSporter: What do you do differently in your practices for this time of year when each game gives you another opportunity to keep playing?
Coach Tierney: “To tell you the truth practices are light this time of year. It has been a long season and we are deep into the grind. We continue our routines, extend warm-ups for fitness, but as a coach I don’t want to run them into the ground. We are the team that we are. It has taken us all season to get to where we are and one week is not going to make a huge difference. That doesn’t mean that we back off the intensity during practices, but I try to keep it competitive, yet fun. Especially with a week off, we might integrate a 3 v 3 tourney if I cannot find a scrimmage for this next week. We have to keep an edge about us, but have fun while we do it. We play to win, but if your not having fun while your doing it, why play the game?”
The ReSporter: Can you put in context of having another week of practices in helping this group for next season?
Coach Tierney: “This extra week is a great learning experience. A small group off my girls play select soccer so they will continue to grow with the sport. For everyone else this extra week of soccer is important for their growth as a player. Like I said, one week is not going to make a huge difference into the skill or the level of the player, but the experience of playoffs and the extra time spent with soccer will help these girls grow as players. It is important for them to understand that once the season is over, we are still soccer players and we have to play as much soccer as possible between now and next year. So I am working to build a soccer culture that allows girls to have access to the game even once the season is over. Because once its over and a week or two goes by with out playing the game, you begin to get hungry.”
The ReSporter: Are we one of the youngest teams in this Region?
Coach Tierney: “We are losing 4 seniors and 1 Junior as a senior. That leaves us with 3 Juniors returning and 10 underclass sophomores and freshmen. We are one of the youngest, but I know there are other teams in our district like Wimberley that are just as young or younger. I cannot really speak on about being one of the youngest in the region because I don’t know. What I do know is I am glad to have a young class of girls. It gives me some time with them to progress them as athletes and players. So I am excited for the next few years about the quality that we have.”